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Alfons Bērziņš

Full name: Alfons Bērziņš
Gender: Male
Born: November 9, 1916 in Rīga, Rīga, Latvia
Died: December 16, 1987 in Rīga, Rīga, Latvia
Affiliations: US Rīga, Rīga (LAT)
Country: LAT Latvia
Sport: Speed Skating

Biography

Alfons Bērziņš is the most successful Latvian speed skater in history. Debuting internationally with an 8th place in the 1936 World Championships, he became the first Latvian to win an international title in 1939. His hometown Riga hosted the European Championships, which were held on melting ice and with many competitors skating with the flue. Two weeks later, Bērziņš placed second in the World Championships, proving his title not to be a fluke due to the weather. He would have been a title candicate in the 1940 Winter Olympics, but these were cancelled because of the war, as were the other international tournaments. Bērziņš did win the inofficial World Championships held at Bislett (Oslo). During the war, Bērziņš was first forced to fight with the Soviet troops that had annexed Latvia. After being captured in 1942, he fought for the German army. He was imprisoned by the Soviets in 1945, and deported to Siberia, accused of being a collaborator. He returned to Latvia in 1955, and became a coach. One of his pupils, Lāsma Kauniste, became World Champion in 1969.

Personal Bests: 500 – 42.9 (1938); 1500 – 2:16.4 (1938); 5000 – 8:32.8 (1940); 10000 – 17:47.2 (1940).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Men's 500 metres Latvia LAT 14T
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres Latvia LAT 18
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Men's 5,000 metres Latvia LAT 18
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Men's 10,000 metres Latvia LAT 19

Men's 500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Latvia Final Standings 14T 45.7

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 3c 7c 1.1k
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Latvia Final Standings 18 2:25.8 30.0 1:07.0 1:45.0

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 6c 1k 1.4k 1.8k 2.2k 2.6k 3k 3.4k 3.8k 4.2k 4.6k
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Latvia Final Standings 18 8:53.4 1:01 1:41 2:23 3:05 3:49 4:32 5:15 5:59 6:44 7:27 8:11

Men's 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 4c 8c 1.2k 1.6k 2k 2.4k 2.8k 3.2k 3.6k 4k 4.4k 4.8k 5.2k 5.6k 6k 6.4k 6.8k 7.2k 7.6k 8k 8.4k 8.8k 9.2k 9.6k
1936 Winter 19 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Speed Skating Latvia Final Standings 19 18:22.5 45.0 1:27.0 2:08.5 2:51.0 3:33.0 4:15.0 4:57.5 5:41.0 6:25.5 7:10.0 7:54.0 8:38.0 9:23.0 10:08.0 10:54.0 11:38.0 12:23.0 13:08.0 13:53.0 14:38.5 15:24.5 16:09.0 16:54.5 17:40.0
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